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Thread: Arranging Deck Chairs

  1. #1

    Default Arranging Deck Chairs

    Marketing OpenSUSE is an interesting problem. I installed it yesterday as a prior user of Linspire, and current (frustrated) XP user.

    Imagine my excitement at using what I was first told was "the World's friendliest Desktop Linux" and then during installation "the World's friendliest computer system" or words to that effect.

    Imagine, then, my disappointment at wiping XP from my hard drive, being guided through an exciting start up process, and realizing that when it's all done simply plugging in a network cable from a VDSL router doesn't allow me to connect to the Internet.

    So once again it's the same Linux experience of trawling through forums to find people who have encountered the same problem (and unsuprisingly, there are lots of them) and then relying on the time and effort of friendly, expert Linux amateurs to beg assistance with my particular problem.

    OpenSUSE will never, ever, be taken up widely when the ability to plug in a 'live' network cable and go online to browse or send mail requires searching for information, posting code, and other little fixes. This simply does not happen with any version of Windows since 95, nor any version of Mac OS.

    Marketing doesn't make problems like that go away, unfortunately.

    Hoping to win people on the basis that it's not Windows, or that it's free to download just isn't enough.

    Anyone who reads this , please treat as an observation, not a complaint; afterall I downloaded OpenSUSE free, and it's not Windows ;-]

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Arranging Deck Chairs

    This simply does not happen with any version of Windows since 95
    Quite simply not true I'm afraid. Can't comment on OSX.

    XP -> would be more like it

    If you want help just ask.
    Probably all you needed to do was go to Yast Network devices and configure your eth0
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Arranging Deck Chairs

    OK, OK...I concede that may be a bit of an exaggeration. What I can say is that I've been using Windows since 95 and feel that it requires less 'skill' (almost zero) to get a connection up and running, and that for many systems plugging a cable in the back is about as far as you need to go.

    The idea of openSUSE is brilliant; my point was that whilst I'm up for learning more about how my PC works and getting help with fixes and workarounds from a community of experts, people like my parents (or my children) aren't.

    My observation was that marketing is a little besides the point when the basic problem exists that the openSUSE flavour of Linux is similar to previous versions inasmuch as it is not quite as user-friendly and 'obvious' as it could be!

    (I'm searching through the forums for advice, before asking for help. My problem is that once I'm back at home, I can't get on the net to post outputs or ask sensible questions.)

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    Default Re: Arranging Deck Chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    Quite simply not true I'm afraid. Can't comment on OSX.

    XP -> would be more like it

    If you want help just ask.
    Probably all you needed to do was go to Yast Network devices and configure your eth0
    You are primarily right. However, with every OS ever built for as long back as I can remember there has always been issues with some piece of hardware not melding into the system seamlessly. While M$ tries to handle these situations they in fact don't. M$ relies on manufacturers to provide much of the i/o structure. The biggest obstacle Linux has had has been lack of device support, followed closely with poor documentation.

    I downloaded the openSUSE 11.1 distro and burnt it to DVD. When I did this there was info that explained how to download and install but absolutely nothing on the DVD or on the website that gave some pointers like visit Yast from the start menu to configure many settings that may not have been configured right.

    Someone truely coming from M$ environment or with no PC experience would surely be lost right from the start.

    Also whats with all this old Linux documentation with misspelled words, bad english etc.. That's a real killer to trying convince people that us nixers aren't geeky, illiterate, children playing and jesting that "we can better than you can do... ha ha hahaha"

    or that's MHO!
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    Default Re: Arranging Deck Chairs

    @techwiz03
    You are correct, I didn't want to get in to the in's and out's of OEM and Vendor Bloatware.
    I had it in a Vista Install that shipped with my Lenovo. When I wiped the disc and re-installed Vista using a Full Non-OEM DVD, all the rubbish had gone but I really had some leg work to get all the drivers. It was far from a commonly quoted phrase we see here: "In windows it just works". Blah..Blah..

    openSUSE on the other hand needed no such leg work. Worked literally out of the box!
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    Default Re: Arranging Deck Chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by techwiz03 View Post
    You are primarily right. However, with every OS ever built for as long back as I can remember there has always been issues with some piece of hardware...

    ...Also whats with all this old Linux documentation with misspelled words, bad english etc..
    Drivers and documentation (D&D). I agree that hits the spot. Although similar to caf4926's point, I just hope we are not going to attempt a repeat of another marathon thread on new user turnoffs. It exists already under another title, and it's easy to find.

    While we on the subject of user experience, there is one issue that should be addressed if any linux distro is to become mainstream on the desktop: a third "D". There are some developers who are so disconnected from the DE and the user experience, that they still won't get it! There is a big difference between the server and desktop marketplaces, in terms of user requirements and hardware platforms.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Arranging Deck Chairs

    It wasn't my aim to start a thread on new-user turnoffs, just to point out that there are issues that I have faced that I haven't (yet)had with other systems. So, my experience was that, as far as marketing goes, some of the "World's easiest..." hyperbole could be turned down a notch or two until it's even vaguely applicable to new/average/home users.

    Without any kind of partisan affiliation I find it interesting to note that an "Oh no it isn't!" and "Windows is worse for the following reasons..." vibe has already crept into the above posts.

    I realise I am talking to Linux die-hards, and am always grateful for the advice, but if it worked right out of the box for me, I would maybe have posted to say "Why doesn't everybody try this?!" Instead of "Why doesn't this work?"

    Again, thanks to everybody for their interest.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Arranging Deck Chairs

    So... to address your original point (or at least make explicit what others have said), it might seem like a waste of effort marketing something that 'isn't finished', and you are certainly right that you *should* be able to plug in a network cable and have your network detected.

    But it's a chicken and egg situation - unless hardware manufacturers support Linux (and increasingly, slowly but surely, they do), that won't happen.

    Increased uptake helps massively with that, and marketing increases uptake...

    [posted that before I read your last post. But I think you get our point, and we get yours ]

  9. #9

    Default Re: Arranging Deck Chairs

    Exactly!


    (BTW I am going to persist with openSUSE, for all sorts of reasons, and have already got a few ideas on how to fix this particular irk.)

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    Default Re: Arranging Deck Chairs

    On one thing I agree: networking should always work. I know, a lot of work on that is being done, and we're slowly getting past the point where the OEM's cannot simply ignore linux. That would solve matters.

    On 'On Windows it simply works': try this:
    reinstall XP or Vista on a laptop from the hidden partition and see what happens. I spent over 6 hours on an XP laptop which on both wired and wireless networking to download the driver at the manufacturor. Another 2 hours to remove all reinstalled trialware.
    It's a matter of personal favor, but I'd rather have spent the 8 hours here to find out how to get the networking going. BTW both cards worked OOB with openSUSE 11.0........
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